3 Ways to Bond With a New Puppy

closeup up family member cuddling a small brown puppyAdding a new puppy to your family is an exciting time for you and your new pup. A lot of stuff happens in your puppy’s first few months with you, like training, socialization, and, of course, bonding with you. Here are a few ways to bond with a new puppy:

1. Create a Welcoming Space

Although you may beyond the moon when bringing your new puppy home, the experience can be scary and overwhelming for your puppy. They will be surrounded by a completely new environment full of new smells and people. It’s important that you make your home a welcoming space before you bring your new puppy into it. Keeping things calm and quiet will help your puppy remain relaxed and acclimate to their new situation. This will also help keep the environment peaceful and help them bond with you easier.

You can create a safe space by putting your puppy’s things, like bedding, toys, and food in one place. Make sure it’s in a part of the home the family uses regularly. The more your puppy sees and is able to interact with you and other family members, the better, and the more comfortable they will become. You can also use baby gates and other temporary barriers to confine your new puppy to a few rooms in your home to help them relax and keep them from getting overwhelmed by having too much space.

2. Keep Training Positive

It’s important to start training your puppy early. With rewards and a focus on keeping training sessions positive, training can also become a bonding time for you and your pup. Using a gentle tone and positive reinforcement lets your puppy know they can trust you, builds a relationship with them, and encourages the development of good behavior. A firm no paired with a short time of ignoring your puppy for unwanted behavior and an excited, happy tone paired with pets or treats for desired behavior keeps training positive and effective.

It’s also important to think about what behavior you may be accidentally training your puppy to do. It may be tempting to use your hands during play, but it’s usually not a good idea. Hand mouthing may be adorable when your puppy is young. However, it’s generally not so cute when they are a full-grown dog. A similar situation usually applies to behavior like barking, howling, or jumping up.

Training is a never-ending activity and should continue throughout your dog’s life. As you’re bonding and interacting with your puppy, consider whether you will still want your puppy exhibiting that same behavior once they are bigger. This is also a good opportunity to set boundaries for your puppy as well. Mixed messages are confusing for your puppy. It often makes bonding more difficult and tends to lead to bad behavior. Consistent rules and boundaries help your puppy understand what to expect and keeps them from developing bad habits while also strengthening your relationship.

3. Spend Time Together

One of the best ways to bond with your new puppy is to spend time together and share positive experiences. If you get your puppy used to it early on and reward them, regular grooming and care can become a positive experience. This also makes it so much easier to groom your pup as they grow. Playtime is also a great way to bond with your puppy and give them some exercise. Plus, playing with your pup makes them more comfortable around you while also strengthening your bond with them and giving them a chance to get rid of some excess energy.

After playtime, your puppy will likely be ready for a nap and some relaxation. This is a great opportunity to spend some time cuddling or lounging around together. Once your puppy has been vaccinated, you can start spending time in public places. This gives you the opportunity to introduce your puppy to a ton of different experience and people to socialize them. Plus, they’ll love the chance to spend time doing fun things with you.

It’s important to bond with your new puppy and create a healthy, trusting, and loving relationship with them. A well-trained, socialized puppy will grow into a well-behaved, friendly dog that will provide you with plenty of love and laughter throughout their life.